Yesterday Netgear introduced 2 new NAS devices. These new NAS's are designed for the AV consumer in mind. They are high in performance, feature rich and lower in price. The new NAS's are the ReadyNAS Duo V2 (a 2 bay NAS) and the ReadyNAS NV+2 (4 bay NAS). These products are a great evolution of the existing ReadyNAS line adding much wanted enhancements to the line at very affordable prices. The 2 bay Duo V2 starts at $199 diskless and the 4 bay NV+V2 is $399.
Netgear focused on the key performance benchmarks and features that in particular the AV consumer is looking for. Improved speed which is up to 40% faster then the competition and some 30% lower prices.
The big change to the existing ReadyNAS line is the use of the Marvell 1.6ghz processor which allows for comparable performance to the Intel Atom chips used in the other NAS's but has a significantly lower parts cost thereby lowering the costs to the users. Performance of the 2 bay unit is on par with the Synology and QNAP NAS's (they are all using the same chip) but does it at 30% lower cost and a 50% longer warranty (3 year vs 2year). Additionally the new ReadyNAS come built with a steel enclosure (feels like a very heavy steel brick) and USB 3.0 for added storage capability. And yes it has gigabit ports as you would expect.
The 4 bay units differ a bit more then the competition. In fact compared to some similar models from Synology or QNAP have better performance or lower prices. The comparison is not as clear as the 2 bay units but if performance and costs are key to you both of the new Netgear units come out ahead.
Other changes in the new Netgear line have to do with significant software enhancements. Like we have seen in the latest batch of Netgear Routers the user interfaces have been completely redesigned. The prior Netgear interfaces have been functional and got the job done but were not really consumer friendly in that they were sometimes not intuitive to use.
The new ReadyNAS UI are in fact quite nice to look at and have greatly simplified management of these devices. This makes total sense since these 2 ne NAS's are designed for the mainstream media consumer, not the computer geek. Not to say they wont put a smile on any computer geek's face.
Adding to the new UI is the addition of compatibility with the Netgear IOS and Android applications ReadyShareNAS remote software. These applications allow for a complete cloud experience with your NAS.
Other changes to the new NAS units are the addition of JBOD mode. For those new to this JBOD means Just a Bunch Of Disks. This is important IMHO because if reduncancy is not important (JBOD is not redundant) you can get maximum capacity from your drives installed albeit without redundancy protection. I have been using a Ultra 2 2 bay ReadyNAS for a media server and have backups of all the data and do not need redundancy. But I cannot use JBOD with that unit so my maximum capacity is tied to the biggest disk I can put in it. I would have preferred to have JBOD but is not supported except in the new 2 and 4 bay ReadyShare NAS units.
So all in all I think Netgear really did a fine job with these new units. With the addition of performance enhancements, new UI interface (see attached files) , cloud support with their pc and mobile apps (which are free downloads), 3 year warranties and added JBOD support and much lower costs I think these are the units to beat. I look forward to your thoughts and comments.
Netgear AV Consultant